Disclaimer: The information, articles, and tips portrayed on this blog, while based on research, do not constitute medical advice. The opinions expressed are meant to educate and inform, but not to dictate lifestyle choices or personal beliefs. These articles are meant to provoke thought on issues surrounding college health and to inform the Hopkins community of healthy information and resources.

2.02.2015

SEE Tip: Aroma induced Sleep

2.02.2015

SEE Tip:  At this time of year, it can be so tempting to curl up in bed all day with a great list of Netflix tv shows to catch up.  Unfortunately, that's not so realistic with our being in week two of classes already.  At this point, all those healthy habits we enjoyed over the break are starting to escape our grasp- sleeping for 8 hours has turned into sleeping for 6 hours and eating well balanced meals has turned into a smash and grab of free food, no matter the nutritional value, and exercise seems like something only people on athletic teams fit in... because they are required to do so.

But wait, it doesn't have to be this way.  Each Monday we focus on different health habits to help re-focus each of you, and keep your health as a priority.

Today, we are focusing on sleep; a crucial component to health that will impact your decisions, your grades, and your overall well-being.  Sometimes it can be tough to fall asleep when the stress of the day is weighing on you, though.  As a way to overcome these sleep distractions, and allow yourself to relax, you can try a variety of methods:
  • Guided Visualization - As you lie in bed, tell your body to relax from head to toe.  Start with top of your head then move towards your eyes, mouth, shoulders, and so forth until you get to the toes.  Feel each part of your body relax and lose the tension that it was holding onto prior.  You can picture yourself in a relaxing environment (perhaps at the beach or in a field of puppies).
  • Before going to bed, write everything out.  
    • If you tend to think about everything you have to do the next day, consider writing it out as a to do list; instead of trying to remember it all for the next morning.  
    • If you tend to worry about some bigger issues that are going on in your life, try writing out how you feel about it.  
      • If you aren't a big writer, you can draw something or find something else that represents how you are feeling -- often getting it out in some form can help ease your mind.  And don't worry, you don't have to post it to social media necessarily.  Find a space that feels safe for you- a journal, a blog (private or public), or social media-- whatever works for you!
  • Aromatherapy- The benefits of aromatherapy, particularly the uses of essential oils like lavender, can help promote sleep, increase relaxation, and reduce anxiety.
If you're curious about aromatherapy, stop by the PEEPs table tonight in Nolan's from 5:30-6:30 to make your own lavender sheet and pillow mist for better sleep tonight!


HKB Quit Tip: In a 2012 study comparing smokers and never smokers, researchers found "a number of insomnia-like sleep impairments" in the smokers compared to the never smokers.  Often, obstacles like sleep difficulties are not realized by smokers.  These sleep issues can exasperate health issues suffered by smokers.  In other words, tobacco in itself is harmful, but if you add in the dangers of low quality sleep- a person's health can be at an even greater risk.


Mellow Out Monday Tip: As we enter the second week of classes, sleep might be lessening and anxiety might be increasing.  To counteract this, one could try aromatherapy, particularly using lavender essential oil to help increase feelings of relaxation and reduce anxiety levels.  In a study of nursing students from 2014, the researchers found that students who had been exposed to lavender for 21 nights prior to their final examination had lessened their anxiety, stress, and improved their overall sleep quality.  If you want to try your own attempts for aromatherapy, stop by Nolan's from 5:30-6:30 tonight to make your own lavender spray with PEEPs.

If you want additional relaxation and better chances for quality sleep, stop by Stressbusters tonight from 8-10pm, our first mellow out Monday of the semester!  Look for the "We Will Calm You" shirts on Q level in MSE and let Stressbusters work out your stress!


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